The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is supporting the Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM) campaign to move to an MOT style of annual gas safety check for landlords, and is beginning a consultation process on the change.
Since the launch of its campaign in November 2013, the AGSM has lobbied with Home Group and others to raise awareness of the benefits of moving to an MOT style of Landlord’s Gas Safety Record (LGSR).
A move to an MOT style of servicing would mean that the gas safety check could be carried out up to two months before the due date, but that the due date would remain unchanged each year.
Claire Heyes, chief executive officer of the AGSM, said: "We believe that the key to making significant savings in gas access is through an industry-wide move to the MOT style of servicing. It will lead to improved productivity for landlords, planned servicing for summer months, improved tenant cooperation, less confusion for elderly and vulnerable tenants, allowing for a greater focus on other areas of safe affordable warmth.”
The HSE's Stuart Kitchingman spoke at the 2016 AGSM Gas Safety Management Conference and confirmed the HSE's support of the move to an MOT style of LGSR. He confirmed the wording of the proposed amendment to HSE Regulation 36(3)(aa) which would state:
"For the purposes of paragraph (3)(a), a safety check carried out not less than 10 months and not more than 12 months after the date of the most recent safety checks shall be treated as if made at the end of that period."
Subsequent meetings between the AGSM and the HSE have confirmed they are currently putting in place a comprehensive consultation process and an impact assessment to assist with the additional approval, which is still required.
Ms Heyes concluded: "We are working closely with the HSE and welcome their support and their plans for consultation. The change to an MOT style of LGSR will have a significant impact on the rented housing sector and make considerable savings."
Mark Henderson, chief executive of Home Group, added: "The Gas Access Campaign has put the issue of annual safety checks firmly on the agenda. The MOT style proposal is a significant change which can help improve safety and at the same time produce considerable savings for landlords.
"More than 200 voices from the highest levels in housing associations, local authorities, MPs and gas experts supported our call and we’ll now harness that support to make sure the MOT style system works as best as possible for the sector by fully engaging with the HSE."